Nothing warms our hearts more than seeing sick and injured baby animals being nursed back to health, so we're enamored with the story of Katie Deline-Ray, known as the "crazy nest lady" to her friends. Katie is the founder of , a nonprofit based in Ontario, Canada, that donates hand-knitted nests to over 60 wildlife rescue groups across Canada, the U.S., Australia, Ireland, and the U.K.
Designed with flat bottoms, these warm and cozy nests are the perfect spot for sick, injured, and abandoned baby animals—such as squirrels, birds, rabbits, and bats —to gain strength. They are an alternative to boxes and other hard objects, traditionally used by shelters to house these animals.
"The little ones love the snug feeling the nest provides, and feel safe and protected," Monika Melichar, president of the Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, . "When we cover the nest with a light cloth, the wild ones have a sense of snuggling under mom's wing."
This heart-warming nonprofit was launched in winter 2013 when Katie stumbled across a woman who was making similar nests for wildlife groups in the U.S. online. She realized that there was nothing like it yet in Canada, and started ing wildlife rescue centers to see whether or not they'd be interested in the idea.
Since then, Katie's mission has expanded internationally, picking up around 250 volunteer knitters and crocheters along the way. All of her nests are distributed for free and her designs now include a cave-like nest for burrowing animals. She hopes to continue growing to help as many animals as possible.
"I love making the nests because I have a great admiration for all the amazing work the wildlife rescues do," Katie told . "I feel like I have a part in giving back to wildlife in a small way."
Learn more about Katie's work at .
Find patterns to knit your own nests